Carnival is ready for Cuba, but is Cuba ready for the Carnival experience?
Carnival’s proposed cruises to Cuba will include two colonial cities outside Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, in addition to the Cuban capital, the cruise company said Wednesday.
Carnival is working to finalize approval from the Cuban government for the planned seven-day trips from Miami on a ship from the new Carnival brand, Fathom.
The cruises have already been approved by the United States. Americans cannot travel as ordinary tourists to Cuba under current U.S. regulations, but they may participate in certain types of trips, including people-to-people trips that foster cultural exchanges.
Carnival said the trips will “focus on supporting cultural exchange and economic development for the Cuban people and include a variety of artistic, educational and humanitarian activities.”
The preliminary itinerary includes meetings with artists, entrepreneurs, schoolchildren and others in settings ranging from the Afro-Cuban community in Havana’s Muraleando neighborhood to an organic farm to colonial heritage sites.
Carnival says the Cuba cruises will begin in May.
All trips offered by the Fathom brand will have a focus on volunteering in a destination. The brand is also selling service trips to the Dominican Republic.
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Photo Credit: Waterfront scene in Cienfuegos, Cuba. Joe Ross / Flickr